The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) cares about open source.
They care about open source so much that they’re forcing Novell to alter their deal with CPTN over the sale of 882 patents. CPTN is a group that includes Microsoft, Apple and EMC.
The DoJ basically saw the deal as originally constructed as a risk to the open source ecosystem.
“The parties’ actions address the immediate competitive concerns
resulting from the transfer of Novell’s patents,”
said Sharis A. Pozen, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Justice
Department’s Antitrust Division in a statement.”To promote innovation
and competition, it is critical to balance antitrust enforcement with
allowing appropriate patent transfers and exercise of patent rights.”
The adjustments that the DoJ is talking about are nothing short of shocking to me.
For one, according to the DoJ, “Microsoft
will sell back to Attachmate all of the Novell patents that Microsoft
would have otherwise acquired, but will continue to receive a license
for the use of those patents.”
And Microsoft is going for this? Why would they buy patents only to sell them back? That makes no sense — or does it?